How Planning Remote Plant-Based Lessons Made Me Into a Student Again

During a time when many of us were spending day after day in the same spaces, it felt vital to renew our appreciation of the outdoor spaces that were still accessible to us, like our own backyards. Quite literally. I leaned on the National Geographic Learning Framework as a guide to create lessons and activities that asked students to go outside and engage with the ecosystems surrounding them. I focused on fostering curious attitudes, observation skills, and knowledge of wildlife and our changing planet. Each week from March to the end of the school year, we released “Science at Home” lessons to support students exploring nature from home. The activities covered a range of topics from compost to pollinators and had options to scale up or down depending on grade level. Our lessons aimed to transform things we might encounter every day into fun activities. A dandelion in the park could now be used for an experiment on osmosis, made into a nature bracelet, or baked into a cookie. Continue reading How Planning Remote Plant-Based Lessons Made Me Into a Student Again

#ThatsGeography: How I use VR in Cross-Curricular Teaching (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

This post was written by educator Katie Harnish. Near the school where I teach, the kids live in a lot of high-density housing and have limited access to green space. My school sits on a big campus and I thought it was a real opportunity for students to go out and explore, take an explorer mindset, and make a guidebook to teach others about our … Continue reading #ThatsGeography: How I use VR in Cross-Curricular Teaching (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

Educator Spotlight: Protecting Our Prairies

Kathrina O’Connell led a cross-curricular project focusing on the human impact on prairie life. Her sixth-grade students collaborated with each other and with field experts to research conservation and maintenance of land, focusing on a part of their local prairie in northwestern Minnesota. They learned to hand-harvest, scarify, and plant seeds to support the growth of prairie grass. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Protecting Our Prairies

Strategy Share: Inspiring Students to Become Nature Detectives

“Scientists don’t always know the answer, do they, Ms. Lebby?” a student asked from the back of the room during our investigation. No, they certainly do not. Searching for answers is where an explorer’s story begins, and that is what I hoped students would understand from our “Nature Detectives” investigation. Continue reading Strategy Share: Inspiring Students to Become Nature Detectives